ALTON ORGAN SOCIETY (Founded 1967) ♬♪𝄞 Updated Tuesday 2 April 2024

Alton Organ Society's 2023/2024 Season of Organ Concerts
Organ Recitals Nationwide

We were privileged to experience Gerard Brooks excellent organ concert Tuesday 2 April 2024. The combination of superb playing and interesting "oral programme notes" before each section of this varied programme, kept the 50+ audience entertained and educated. Once again, we were introduced to unfamiliar composers such as Michael Corvette, Alexandre PF Boëly and Achille Philip - plus of course Gerard Brooks! His Peter's Passacaglia was dedicated both to St Peter and a good friend who died from Covid aged 53. John Stanley's Voluntary in D minor highlighted his composing skills using manuals only. JS Bach is renowned for his vast number of organ pieces but the Concerto in G originally composed as a violin concerto by Johann Ernst, Prince of Saxe-Weimar (who died aged only 18) inspired Bach to adopt this wonderful piece which was beautifully registered & played by Gerard. The rest of the programme was varied, skilfully played and delighted the attentive audience on a wet night! Gerard's programme can be viewed here.

The next and final concert in the 2023/2024 series will be given by Tom Winpenny (St Alban's Cathedral) on Tuesday 7 May 2024 starting at 8.00 pm. There will be reception of canapés and fizz from 7.15 pm. Tom's programme can be viewed

Admission (including programme) to the organ concerts is £10 at the door (free admission to full time students under the age of 18). Refreshments will be available from 7.30 pm.

One of our regular Season Members and a major contributor to the Organ Society (and former President of the North Hampshire Organist Association (NHOA)), John Mansfield, sadly died on 30 March 2024. John had been an active member of NHOA since 1979, attending the majority of NHOA's events, organising and helping to organise overseas trips, leading Composer Anniversary events, talking about Spanish organs (about which he knew a considerable amount), and, putting together and distributing NHOA's Newsletter and 'The North Hampshire Organist’.

John was also a great friend and regular attender of organ concerts - when able to do so - organised by Alton Organ Society . One memorable occasion was when we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Society in 2016. John prepared a press release reviewing Olivier Latry's organ concert. It was an accurate, articulate and professional summary of that remarkable concert which included a spectacular improvisation given by M Latry. If you weren't present at that 50th Anniversary but read John's press release, you would have appreciated in detail what a high profile event it proved to be and, perhaps, regretted not being present! More recently, John most kindly agreed to write programme notes for the CD recorded on the St Lawrence Church organ in 2022 by David Hill. He did a wonderful professional job which enhanced the value of this memorable CD. (see below). John will be missed both by NHOA and the Alton Organ Society. The Society committee send their condolences to John's two daughters and wider family.
David Hill MBE organist and International Choral Director, Patron of the Alton Organ Society and currently President of the Royal College of Organists very kindly recorded a CD on the St Lawrence Church, Alton, organ to celebrate 55 years of the Organ Society and to raise funds for the restoration of the Speechly organ. The music was recorded by Herald AV Publications, a specialist recording company, in October 2022. The CD was launched at St Lawrence Church, Alton on Tuesday 4 October 2022. The CD costs £15 of which £3.00 of the purchase price will go towards the organ restoration fund. David's CD was reviewed by Choir & Organ Magazine and copies of that review and Graeme Kay's article on the Society can be seen here. The CD can be purchased from members of the Society Committee, from Resurrection Furniture in Alton and at the Society's Organ Concerts. For further details and purchase of a CD do use the contact page here.

There is a new website that lists national organ concerts (including those held in Alton) and can be viewed here. Please list & Organ Recitals Nationwide among your favourites.